The death of a young man, who grew up loving football and
fishing, has left his family devastated after his car crashed
near Havelock North.
James Mackie, 19, was killed when the car he was driving
crashed into a power pole on Te Mata-Mangateretere Rd about
4.20am on Sunday.
His father, Fergus Mackie, said the family was devastated,
especially his mother, Louise, and sisters Nicola and Toni.
He said James was having fun with friends on Saturday night
and had organised to sleep at a mate's flat in Napier, but
later decided to drive home to Havelock North.
"He was heading home and he was almost home," Mr Mackie said.
"It's devastating. It's a really hard time right now.
"He was interested in soccer and fishing while at school and
later on he started to enjoy cars."
He said his son, an old boy of Havelock North High School,
had about six weeks ago secured a full time position at Orora
Kiwi Packaging in Hastings.
"He just got on to the full-time staff a few weeks ago and he
was absolutely loving his job.
"He wasn't sure what he wanted to do after high school ... He
was a natural at computers and excelled in science and maths
but he didn't want to go off to university if he didn't know
what he wanted to do. He was really happy living here." "He
loved cars, rock music, hanging out with his mates and his
little sister," younger sibling Nicola said.
Road Policing Sergeant Kevin Stewart said on Sunday James'
car had gone airborne after hitting a culvert, before
slamming side on into a power pole.
He said yesterday the crash investigation would take several
weeks to complete and each case was "extremely serious and
important, especially where a life has been lost".
"The families concerned want and need answers, and rightly
"It is to them we owe our very best efforts to give them the
answers they seek.
"This is a tragedy. A young man has lost his life, a family
has lost a son and brother.
"The impact of these fatal crashes has an ever-widening
effect on many people, including emergency services who
attend these incidents all too often." James' funeral will be
held later this week.
In March, the Hastings District Council changed speed limits
on 31 roads, including Te Mata-Mangateretere Rd, and
introduced a new Safe Speed Area that covers about 58km of
the Hastings roading network in the Heretaunga Plains area.
The area represents about 3 per cent of the district's total
roading network but was the scene of 32 per cent of the fatal
crashes in the past five years.
- By Sam Hurley of Hawke's Bay Today